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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 15, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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fish you catch and release unless you have a special permit. >> it's not legal to do what that guy did. >> reporter: some say what should be illegal is the woman's screaming. >> i don't know about her, though. i hope she's okay. are you okay, miss? >> reporter: though the video is now going viral, it was first posted over a year and a half ago. the tarpin got away and we were unable to catch the fisherman for comment. but online, folks were rooting for the fish. give that tarpin a hand. jeanne moos, cnn. >> oh, man. >> so many things we could say. that is how we will end the show today. >> remember, follow what's going on in "the situation room" on twitter. just tweet me at joejohnscnn.
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>> that is all for us this evening. thank you so much for joining us. "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next congress about to vote on a relief bill for victims of super storm sandy. a republican representative who will vote against the relief tells us why in just a moment. plus, france tripling the number of troops the country is sending to mali. what does this mean for america's role in that fight? and an "outfront" investigation into a booming business, birth tourism. foreign women giving birth in the united states so their kids will be citizens, but this time, we're not talking about people south of the border. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the battle over super storm sandy. so the house of representatives is going to vote tonight, really
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just imminently, on a controversial relief package for the victims of the devastating october 29th storm. a $17 billion aid package was approved earlier today and at this moment, another $34 billion is at stake. i know this might sound like an easy vote because disaster relief always gets approved but right now, when it comes to spending this country's money, every single dollar is getting subjected to scrutiny and just as we saw with the fiscal cliff battle, not everyone in washington thinks this disaster relief should pass. >> $16 billion is to quintuple the size of the grant program, the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggy day care centers. it doesn't even have to be spent in the hurricane area. $2 billion is for highway repairs, anywhere in the country, including up to $20 million each for guam, american samoa and the mariana islands that aren't even in the same ocean as hurricane sandy.
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>> $20 million is a lot on a little island. tom forman joins me now. tom, obviously we're so used to pork being laden in these bills and of course, it makes all of us angry, but where is the pork in this bill? is it really that bad? >> well, if you listen to the republican critics, i have been listening to them all day, they say the pork is everywhere in this $34 billion amendment the democrats tacked on to this emergency spending measure for super storm sandy. take a look. this amendment includes $194 million for the national oceanic and atmospheric administration to buy equipment to improve weather forecasting and for tending to their satellites. it would give $2 billion, billion with a "b" for repairing roads virtually anywhere after a natural disaster, including, yes, guam, which is about 8,000 miles from where sandy struck. more than $100 million for amtrak to tend to its trains and tracks in the northeast corridor, even though it looks like less than a third of that would involve repairs directly
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related to sandy and its damage. and the amendment includes $16 billion for the department of housing and urban development to help with disaster relief, rebuilding an economic vitalization -- revitalization but not just in sandy's path, in any disaster zone anywhere in the country. that is what the critics have been pointing to all day and calling pork, erin, because while they admit that some of these programs may have merit, they say they just do not belong in an emergency relief bill and that this spending is more about democrats building up government programs than rebuilding from sandy. >> interesting. of course, as we all know, you can put all that money in, then when there's a disaster somewhere else, they ask for more anyway. i know this infuriated lawmakers from new york and new jersey, both democrats and republicans. know what, when it's you, you want the money. doesn't matter what your party is. there was certainly irony in that. but how have they fought back against these accusations of fat
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pork? >> well, vigorously would be the first word. time and again, they pointed out all the items in this amendment which would indeed help rebuild businesses. get people back into their homes, repair infrastructure and they keep insisting all this money is vital for long-term comprehensive recovery. a few times they even lit into their fellow lawmakers from other places like the gulf coast, saying in effect, we took care of your disasters, now you owe us. this did get nasty at times, i have to say, as it often does when one side calls a funding bill important and the other calls it poosrk. part of it makes it tricky. i mentioned, for example, the money for noaa. yeah, there's money in there for things which probably anyone would say doesn't really directly relate to sandy. but in that same section, there are parts that do directly relate to sandy. so the problem is in any given section, the democrats can point and say see, this is about sandy, and the republicans can
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look at another part and say yeah, but what about this $20 million here, what about this $30 million here, what about this $75 million here. >> that's pretty disturbing, disgusting, one might say. all right. thanks very much to tom foreman. republican congressman tom huliskamp of kansas is voting against this but we have very specific questions to ask him on why that vote might not add up. john avlon is here with me and i want to ask you this question. pork disgusts me and every american. someone's pork is someone else's, i don't know, best part of the animal. but the point is, why is it always in there? why can't these guys just realize americans want a clean, transparent bill, cut out the crap for lack of a better word. >> that should not be too much to ask but the problem is someone's pork is someone else's lifeline and this is disaster relief. we're 11 weeks after sandy. what has folks really furious is the hypocrisy. a lot of lawmakers from the gulf
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coast who begged for assistance and got it quickly after disasters devastated their region. all of a sudden they're being callous rather than doing the right thing. >> but hold on. why not then give the amtrak money that you need? why is two-thirds of it going to non-sandy related things? give them what they need. >> part of this is about narrative. remember the first sandy bill that just passed a week or so ago. 67 republicans voted against it. it was one page. there was no pork. but still, the argument 67 gave was that it was full of pork. it is disgusting, when democratic lawmakers lard up a bill for disaster relief that are unrelated, people should be furious. can't we do the right thing for folks who are suffering? should we derail the whole thing and get nothing done? >> a very good point. now let's bring in the republican congressman from kansas. sir, let me start with the bill that john just mentioned. you were one of the 67 members who did vote against the initial $9.7 billion sandy relief bill. i know you voted against it today as well. let me just play what your fellow republican congressman frank lobiondo said today about
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it. >> to my colleagues who are from states who have had disasters, some rather recently, who have decided that we need to change the rules of the game, shame on you. florida, good luck with no more hurricanes. california, congratulations, did you get rid of the andreas fault? mississippi's in a drought. you think you're not going to have a flood again? who you going to come to when you have these things? >> obviously he passionately feels differently than you do, sir. how do you respond to his point? >> well, a couple things. our goal is to make sure the money we spend actually gets to those that need it. also, the earlier vote last week about flood insurance, we have a program that's hemorrhaging and needs to be reformed to make sure it works. but one thing to note is according to the congressional budget office, 80% of these funds won't be spent for two years. so we don't have to spend those today or authorize those today. we just want to make certain the money gets to those in need and it does in a proper wayen and me
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sure it goes in the course that gives people full opportunity to comment to see how the money's going to be spent. >> much of what you say makes a lot of sense but of course, usually when there's disaster relief aid it comes very quickly. this has frustrated your colleagues from new york and new jersey and new england. governor chris christie from new jersey has been very vocal about sandy aid. he called out john boehner directly. i want to just ask you the question this way, sir, especially because you come from kansas. in new york and new jersey, and connecticut, where they were hit by this storm, they look at it this way. for every dollar they spend, they send to washington every year in taxes, here's what they get back, new jersey. 61 cents. connecticut, 69 cents. new york, 79 cents. in kansas, they might say look, you guys are loading off us every year. you get $1.12 for every dollar you send in. don't they deserve their money back? isn't this a chance to give it to them? >> i don't know what those numbers are but everybody is getting back more than they send in because 40 cents out of every dollar that's spent in washington, d.c., whether it's
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relief aid or for any other purpose, is borrowed. what we're trying to do here is make certain if we're going to spend $50 billion or $40 billion or $10 billion, it should be done in a fiscally responsible manner, especially if 80% of the aid is not going to be spent until 2015, why do they have to rush it through. there is going to be pork items in this bill, no question. smithsonian, numerous other places have nothing to do with disaster relief. that's what happens around here far too often. that's what i'm concerned about is when we're borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar, we should at least take a little time to make certain it gets to those who actually need it and there are millions of americans in need. >> let me ask you a question, congressman lobiondo when mentioned the drought, that affects you directly in kansas. there's a drought right now according to the department of agriculture in 104 kansas counties. you voted in favor of the bill to provide aid to kansas. $383 million. now, about that vote, you said well, look, that money came from other programs so that's why it was okay.
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you weren't getting new money. but the scope of the disaster at least right now for sandy is much, much bigger than that in new york and new jersey. so is it fair to demand that money come from other quarters? >> again, 40 cents out of every dollar is borrowed. i voted for an amendment earlier today which says we can pay for it with cuts elsewhere, especially actually authorizing the money today when they're going to wait two years to spend most of the money, but i voted for some drought relief for kansas. it has a tremendous impact but we did that by cutting other ag programs. i think that makes sense. it's time we quit borrowing money to spend money. because there's just no money. there's no big bank up here. it's empty. we're out of money. we want to make certain, especially dealing with this debt ceiling, we do it in a fiscally responsible manner. >> would you be willing given your point of view overall in borrowing money that if kansas pays in a dollar, gets $1 back
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so 12 cents of every dollar, assume for a moment that number is right, this is the tax foundation number, that you would give that back, kansas would get a whole lot less from the federal government right now, would you sign on to that? >> well, i don't agree with those numbers. we got a whole tax code that actually helps states like new york that have higher taxes because they can take that off their federal income taxes. that has to be part of that as well. but i think we need to do -- certainly helping those in need is probably something we should be doing but if you're not going to spend 80% of the dollars for two years, what's the rush? let's get to the direct needs right now and that's what i think's important. that's why i offered transparency amendment that said let's go see where this money is going. that went on there. i think that's important. fema needs reform. we should have reformed it the last two years. they should have reformed it a decade ago, after the katrina problems. hopefully we can make some progress when we do that. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your time tonight. still to come, france has
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sent more troops into mali to fight the war there and the united states promises to help. but what is help really going the mean for american troops? plus, an "outfront" investigation. birth tourism. paying women big money to come to the united states and give birth to new american citizens. president obama goes it alone on gun control. one senator compares the president to a king. sales data. split-second stats. [ indistinct shouting ] ♪ it's so close to the options floor... [ indistinct shouting, bell dinging ]'ll bust your brain box. ♪ all on thinkorswim from td ameritrade. ♪ to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients.
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our second story "outfront," war and terror in mali. france ramping up its offensive against islamist militants tonight, tripling their troops on the ground and getting support from another 1700 french soldiers in the region. the offensive against al qaeda linked militants trying to take mali over has gotten now full support from the white house. >> we share the french goal of denying terrorists a safe haven in the region, and we support the french operation. we are supporting the french by sharing information and we are considering a request for logistical support. >> but is the offensive working and will the united states have to get more involved? lindsey, thanks for taking the time. the basic question is when the world tries to determine can france handle this and resolve this, what progress are the french making in pushing the militants back?
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>> reporter: oh, i think the french are making huge progress at the moment. there have been bombing raids overnight and in the early morning for several days now. i have been speaking to people here who have relatives up in the area where the fighting has been going on and they say it's in the main towns which the jihadists were controlling. they have just melted away now and said people up there are very happy because they hated those jihadists and the french, there's a lot of enthusiasm for the french. the question though is yes, they've managed to make them melt away into the desert now but will they come back. >> obviously a huge question. yesterday we spoke to the military leader of one of the al qaeda linked groups there, and he said we're continuing to make progress, obviously he wants to make that point, but he also said this was going to be a long war and as dangerous as the wars in iraq and afghanistan.
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do you think from what you're understanding that this is going to be a quick operation or is that something that could be incredibly drawn out? >> reporter: i think that the french can do an awful lot at the moment because the mistake the jihadists made was whereas before they had been hiding in the towns, so it was impossible to get them by bombing because you would have killed so many people. they decided to come south to come towards the capital and that meant that they exposed themselves. that is why the french are doing this now. it's a window of opportunity. they're out in the desert, on the roads, and some of them are in their camps outside the towns. but also, what some of these jihadists are doing is that they will just lie low. they will lie low in the towns and then also, they do have people in other places so i think that there's a great danger of acts of terrorism here in mali and other places in mali, possibly elsewhere in africa because west african troops are supporting and also, they have threatened in france
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as well. >> lindsey, the united states obviously has said or yesterday when i was speaking to the pentagon, they said for sure we are going to get involved in this conflict. the question was how. as you heard the white house saying maybe that will be logistical support, it could be transport. is there a perception from what you're hearing on the ground that france will do this on its own or that the united states may have to get involved in a more significant way, not just logistics and things on the margin but a boots on the ground kind of way? >> reporter: no. i think that the french being the former colonial power here and the french having a very significant army, i think that when it comes to things like air raids and troops actually on the ground, the french will do it. but i think that where the africans will need the americans is in exactly those areas, logistics, transport, even things like food and equipment because the african armies, they just don't have those things. the most difficult thing for the african armies is to keep their soldiers fed and watered and to give them shelter so that is one
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area where the americans may come in. and the other area is drones. one of the reasons that the french are able to attack accurately some of the fixed positions of the jihadists is because drones, french, maybe american, have been flying over that area for the last six months or year, and i think that that kind of assistance will be very welcome to the malian government and the french as well. >> thanks so much, lindsey. appreciate your taking the time tonight. >> reporter: you're welcome. nice to speak to you. now i want to bring in cnn's national security contributor, fran townsend. today, the president of france said something that just really stopped me in my tracks. he said france has no intention of staying in mali but we have an objective. that is when we leave, there should be security in mali, a legitimate authority, electoral process and no more terrorists. if you substitute afghanistan for mali, it sounds a heck of a lot like the american objective in afghanistan which of course was not met and has been abandoned. can france get that job done?
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>> no. it's sort of one of these big audacious goals. it's one thing to have a limited objective to get your hostages out, to support the malian government and troops, to try and provide security to the capital and to assist. those are achievable goals. but this is really quite stunning. >> stunning and something that could mean something much more significant or drawn out. the pentagon says look, we're definitely going to be involved in mali and they describe it that way to me, not troops on the ground, adamant that it won't take that formality of course, special operations are already there. what happens if france fails? mali after all is the number one haven for jihadists around the world. if france fails, what is the united states going to end up having to do? >> i don't think -- look, the way jay carney describes it from the podium, it sounds what i call the libyan model. we will provide intelligence, logistics support, maybe some air support, but we're not going to put troops on the ground.
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they have a big belief, the bigger threat and i think it's probably correct, direct threat to the united states is from yemen. we're not interested in getting involved in mali. look on the african continent. the one direct threat to the united states from the african continent really does come from somalia. we can trace americans who have gone there to fight and we don't want the sort of really sad history of blackhawk down. we don't want to go back to somalia. we're not going to mali. the malinans know it. the french know it. we will not put boots on the ground there. "outfront" next, an investigation, chinese companies luring women to america to give birth and then demanding citizenship. tand the history of the nra what it was is so different than what it is right now. we'll tell you how it became what it is today. i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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our third story "outfront," birth tourism. it's a booming business in the united states. chinese companies operating in the shadows are luring pregnant women to the united states to give birth. all in the hopes of getting u.s. citizenship for their newborns. >> reporter: they don't want to be seen. they won't stop to talk. you're going on a jog? i can jog. they came from this house. >> hi, there. >> reporter: quietly catering to
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pregnant chinese women like this one. we just wanted to chat with you a little about what brings you here. >> reporter: who are they? they wouldn't respond to cnn's calls for comment but they're just one of many businesses that publicly advertise to chinese mothers-to-be. it finds its roots in beijing. this storefront and this one offer package deals on chinese language websites, they advertise to parents, offer a step by step guide to obtain a u.s. visa, then arrange travel to inviting u.s. homes, where 24 hour nurses and doctors will care for the mother. it's called birth tourism. dozens of these houses are scattered across california, operating in the shadows within the suburbs of l.a. pay them thousands and according to their ads, they will help you obtain u.s. citizenship for your newborn. have you been inside? >> yes. >> reporter: arthur chen lives next door to what he calls a maternity hotel. on his street, he sees a lot of pregnant chinese women every
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day. why would a chinese mother come all the way to america to give birth? >> citizenship. >> reporter: if people from mainland china get an american passport he says their life can be different. potential access to u.s. education and once the child turns 18, says chen, they can help others get green cards and become u.s. citizens. >> not here! >> reporter: neighborhood protests have sprung up around the strait. >> go back to your country! >> reporter: local authorities have busted some of these houses for code violations but not for so-called birth tourism. that's because under current federal laws, it's not illegal. >> legally barred from denying a visa on the basis of someone being pregnant. >> reporter: that's the way it should be, say the parents of 3 month old francine. the family traveled to a u.s. maternity hotel so she could be born in america. dad is a naturalized u.s. citizen and says he understands why chinese citizens come to the u.s. to give birth. >> they pay the fee, they got a
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visa, they do it legally so some people are upset saying the chinese are taking advantage of the services. well, can say the same thing to americans, some of them, taking advantage of chinese services in china. >> reporter: back at this house, workers continue to move in baby items, prep for meals and the shadow industry continues to thrive right in the open. kyung lah. executive order. president obama is making good on his promise to support new ways to curb gun violence. tomorrow he's expected to embrace 19 steps, 19. they like having lots of things on their list of things to do. he says he's got 19 things he can do through executive order that will bypass congress and the powerful opposition that he faces there. among the 19 items, he would improve the way the government enforces current gun laws, obviously that's a big problem
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because you know, you can enforce the laws we have and have a whole lot of change in this country before you even did new laws. but in terms of new laws, he wants to keep better data on where the guns actually are and expand mental health reporting. he also wants to direct government agencies to conduct research on gun violence. now, these proposals don't significantly alter our nation's gun laws. that's important to point out. but already, republicans are mad and challenging the president. kentucky senator rand paul compared the president to a king, telling the christian broadcasting network, i think having a monarch is what we fought. the american revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the constitution, bypass congress, that's someone who wants to act like a king or monarch. "outfront" tonight, reihan salam and michael waldman, former speech writer for president clinton. good to see both of you. kings, monarchs, all in the eye of the beholder. republicans are angry because this is executive action and some might say look, if you can
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do a lot of these things through enforcement, why wouldn't you do that first. indeed, that is a part of what he's going to do but there is a point here that some say there's between 300 and 20,000. i don't know why the range is so broad. anyway, of gun laws in this country. isn't this outrage just political? >> part of the issue is that whenever you have a party that's out of power, they are concerned about the abuse of executive power. when you have a democratic president, republicans are upset about it. when you have a republican president, that republican president will tend to use executive action as well to get around congress. so i think that that's natural to some extent that there's going to be that outrage and that it's selective outrage. i will also say, however, that there are few things the president has the discretion to do. for example, look into gun research and promote research into hand gun violence. it's very hard -- that actually is counteracting some of the very powerful lobbies that are pushing against that kind of research so i think that -- >> research is a serious, smart thing. interesting point. >> that's the one piece of this
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that is a good thing. >> you're saying this coming from the right side of the spectrum. important point. a lot of people might say research and they would be more likely to scoff at it. >> it sounds noncontroversial but actually, this is something that the national rifle association and its allies in congress have blocked in recent years. there is actually a provision in the spending laws that said that the centers for disease control can't do research if it might help quote, promote gun control. so there's actually some political heft to this and look, we want these policies in the heat of this moment, we should do everything we can to do more to prevent gun violence. but we want to make sure we're using the facts. we want to make sure we're not just fooled by emotion. we can't do it if we don't have the research. if we don't want to make some of the mistakes we made in the war on drugs, we need to have this research among many other things. these executive actions are, from what i can tell, well within the power that any president has to enforce the law and make policy. there are other big things like
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an assault weapons ban that congress has to be part of. >> i want to ask about the assault weapons ban. by going with 19 executive orders, that's a whole lot of things, a lot for people to digest. 19 sounds like you're doing something. three is wishy-washy, five, whatever. you get double digits, you're doing something psychologically, right? is he shying away from an assault weapons ban? harry reid has said they can pass this in the senate but doesn't think it could pass the house. is the president basically saying look, forget assault weapons ban, i'm not going to get it so i'm going to go for these 19 things? >> you know, i worked as you know for president clinton and democrats have a kind of ancestral memory of when they passed the assault weapons ban and the brady bill and the tremendous political price that democrats in congress paid. i think probably in addition to the substance of it, one of the things the white house wants to do is to begin to break the idea that the nra has such omniscient complete power over government, make the progress he can make and that will actually help in the legislative fights, not
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drain away the energy. >> the nra is seen as all powerful in so many ways. we have a really great report on that in just a moment. let me just ask one more question. it still seems to me aside from all the new things you can do, we can discuss what those are, and the nuances of it, there is this issue with the fact there are a lot of laws on the book which are not enforced. so it obviously isn't that -- isn't as easy as the president says, enforce them, or is it? >> i think that's absolutely right. there are many gun laws on the books. the problem is that in general, you're looking at criminal prosecutions. we have a panoply of laws yet it's very difficult to actually apply the laws to the crimes we have. that's why prosecutors have so much discretion because frankly, in any particular criminal case, you know, it's kind of like they're selecting from a menu. i think this is actually a broader problem with the mix between federal laws and state and local laws. so this is part of the reason why there is so much discretion for the executive. and frankly, this is not the right way to solve the problem, in my view, for the president to come and do this. we need to clean up the laws on the books we have right now to make them easier to follow, make
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them more coherent but that's something you need congress to do. >> the power player in this room obviously is the nra. this might just amaze both of you and all of you watching. did you know the nra today has said that 250,000 people have signed up and joined the nra as members in just the past month. they say that is an unprecedented spike in new members, it is a pretty stunning statistic. it's the kind of support that has helped transform an organization that at one point everybody was focused on training soldiers into now one of the most powerful and feared lobbying groups in the united states of america. here's jim acosta with their rise to power. >> if you're ready to make a difference for freedom in this country. >> reporter: these days, the national rifle association is a washington power house. the group's tough-talking executives -- >> we face the most dangerous election of all of our lifetimes. >> reporter: to its legendary past president, the late charlton heston. >> from my cold dead hands! >> reporter: the nra's influence
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has few rivals. but it wasn't always that way. the group got its start after the civil war as a firearms training organization. >> the nra began with humble origins, started by two former union soldiers after the civil war. they wanted an organization to help american soldiers learn how to shoot and american civilians who would be the next round of soldiers to learn how to shoot accurately. >> reporter: ucla law professor adam winkler says flash forward to the 1930s. voters cried out for new gun control laws in response to the bloody bank robberies of the great depression like those depicted in the film "public enemies." when fdr signed the national firearms act into law in 1934, one of the legislation's top backers was the nra. >> the nra was a strong supporter of gun control laws. >> reporter: in the 1970s, the group began lobbying in washington and its more
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conservative members seized power. >> this group of hardliners staged a coup at the annual meeting of the membership in 1977, where they manipulated the rules of order and literally overnight, ousted the entire leadership of the nra and replaced them with hardliners. >> reporter: the '80s brought the attempted assassination of president reagan and the '90s witnessed violent street crime in the inner cities, gun control efforts rose and so did the nra. >> the nra is very good at letting the folks back home in the districts know how their elected officials voted. >> we are millions of people just like you. >> reporter: the nra now boasts approximately four and a quarter million members. last month, as new gun control efforts picked up in the wake of the school the shshooting in ne connecticut, the nra says it recruited 250,000 new members, coming off an election year when it spent $19 million on campaign ads. >> much of that was against president obama. a lot of it was against
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democrats running for congress. >> had they spent that much money prior to that? >> no. no. >> reporter: the question now is whether the nra's history will take a new direction after newtown. >> if republicans refuse to bring anything to the floor even for a vote, we'll see that the nra really is still strong-arming elected officials. >> reporter: the nra would not talk to cnn on camera for this story but a spokesman for the group points out the nra is not just picking up what it calls an unprecedented number of new members. the gun lobby is raising money as well for what it predicts will be an expensive and hard-fought battle on gun control. jim acosta, cnn, washington. i want to bring michael and reihan back. that is amazing that the nra at one point was fighting for gun control, they thought it was appropriate and it has since become a much more absolutist organization. i'm curious about this unprecedented spike in membership. i did the math quickly so if i'm wrong, i'm wrong. i think about a 6% increase in
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their membership in just one month. that's pretty incredible. this whole discussion, is this going to galvanize the people for guns more than those against guns? >> it's an amazing thing. when you look at this past campaign and the few years before that, there was no real talk of gun control, of gun violence legislation. but the leadership of the nra told its members and people who they wanted to join, your second amendment rights are at risk, they are going to come, take away your guns. it is primed for polarization. while there's a broad kind of common sense middle, i think, on gun issues in the country, those groups are not yet, anyway, organized. they are not as intense and of course, people fear that someone's going to take their gun away, might be stronger than people's home for more sane policies. >> fear is always stronger than hope. when you have a job loss, for example, people are angry and afraid who are losing their jobs. the majority of people who are benefiting in that particular
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case may not be -- >> i think that's right but michael is talking about the middle on gun regulation. the problem is that a lot of the folks who have been talking about gun control in the wake of the newtown shootings really have sounded rather more aggressive. there hasn't been talk about the importance of defending an individual right to keep and bear arms. rather, they have been talking a very pointed way that feels to gun owners as though they are being criticized, legal gun owners are being criticized. again, these are the gun owners who are not responsible for a crime. i think that that's why i think the nra would be very wise to try to strike its own middle ground. the nra needs to say that look, for something like universal background checks, it's not going to solve the problem but that's something that might make a difference in terms of limiting things like straw purchases. on the other hand, an assault weapons ban in many of these other symbolic ideas are things that are not necessarily going to reduce gun violence. so in my view, the nra would actually be very wise to say that look, we're against gun trafficking and we want to see reform of the laws to be sure that gun trafficking decreases, but we are against symbolic
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moves that are actually making it seem as though legitimate gun owners are the problem, when in fact they're not. >> thanks very much to both of you. breaking news. the house just voted to add billions of dollars to hurricane sandy aid to help those in the northeast affected by october -- the october 29th storm. the final measure, here's the number. 241 to 180. 49 house republicans voted against the final bill. one of those 49, congressman from kansas, we just heard from. he voted no on that relief because he says there was too much pork in it. $194 million for the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. also $2 billion for repairing roads anywhere. that does include guam and the mariana islands as well as american samoa and $118 million for amtrak. still to come, lance armstrong's apology tour now in full swing. what he told oprah and what it means for his future and his
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our fifth story "outfront," how much lower can he go? for more than a decade, lance armstrong denied his use of performance-enhancing drugs. he lied to our faces. >> the questions have continued, the suspicion has continued. >> i've said it for seven years. i've said it for longer than
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seven years. i have never doped. >> i can't be any clearer than i've never taken drugs. then incidents like that could never have happened. how clear is that? >> i have nothing to say. we have nothing to hide. >> even after the u.s. anti-doping agency said armstrong had used illicit performance-enhancing drugs and the international cycling union stripped him of his seven tour de france titles, armstrong continued to deny the allegations. so why now? why did he decide to admit the truth in an interview? oprah winfrey had this to say on cbs this morning. >> i think he was just -- he was just ready. i think the velocity of everything that's come at him in the past several months and particularly in the past several weeks, he was just ready. >> she says she was mesmerized by armstrong's answers but this is something we thought was really important. she said she's leaving it up to viewers to decide if armstrong was quote, unquote, contrite. armstrong's case of being the golden boy who turned a sport with a small following into a
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sensation, a man who became a role model for children and adults alike, a man who was a larger than life athlete and person, to me, seems similar only to tiger woods. tiger's failing of course was more personal but we all felt violated by it. >> i have made you question who i am and how i have done the things i did. i'm embarrassed that i have put you in this position. for all that i have done, i am so sorry. >> now, more than three years later, tiger hasn't fully come back, hasn't won a major since 2008 but you know, the disgust a lot of people felt about him has subsided. tiger did not have a choice in coming clean and maybe at this point neither did lance. can he be forgiven and redeemed? paul callum is a criminal return, and mike, let me start with you. the public now can speak in a way that they couldn't a few
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years ago when this happened to tiger woods. on facebook here on cnn, just a few people, this guy's a loser and liar, wrote one woman. he's not sorry for what he did. he's sorry he got caught. those are the people who are filled with anger ad disgust. and man said what he did was wrong but i'm sure he'll have a hopeful return. in the heat of the moment, some people are incredibly angry by this. his denials went on for so long. will this p.r. parade rehabilitate him? >> hopefully this is not just a p.r. parade. hopefully it is heartfelt. hopefully it includes a repentant heart. i think he needs to look at this as not an end point but a beginning, something he has to talk about for the rest of his life. if all those things are in place, it's a possibility. it will not be the taushlk, it l be the walk we're looking for. >> everybody knows he's only doing it because he lost his titles and the testimony of his other racing mates came out. he denied it in the face of
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accusations for a decade. does that change the fact? does that make people -- he didn't do it because he felt like all of a sudden i feel bad about it. >> well, all the time that has passed is certainly not helping his cause at all. but one of the things that i would be saying if lance were my client is this is easy to do when you're in a tube by yourself thinking only of your own accomplishments. when you think of your family, your kids, your kids have to go to school. how do they defend you right now? what kind of message do you want to have for them? for all those kids you talked to in the cancer hospitals, for example, what do you want them to be thinking right now and their parents who believed you? >> right. to your point, for those people, he has done a lot of good. paul, i want to ask you something but before i do, i want to play for you an ad. his biggest sponsor, part of his hundreds of millions of dollars fortune, was nike. this was such a big part of who he was denying doping. this was part of a nike ad. i want to play it. >> everybody wants to know what i'm on. what am i on?
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i'm on my bike busting my -- sex hours a day. what are you on? >> will his admission to having lied open him up to losing his fortune? >> oh, i think it's going to make a huge dent in his fortune because for him to get his public reputation back, he's going to have to fight his way through numerous courtrooms. the u.s. postal service, $30 million was pumped into that team. there may be a suit against him about that. there's a whistleblower suit, tens of millions of dollars of liability there. all of these sponsors like nike who trusted him, trusted his character. now they find out that he in fact was using illegal drugs, he was doing blood doping. in the end, his reputation i think has really been damaged and he's going to lose those lawsuits. >> lose a lot of money. does he face jail time? >> that's an interesting question. there's a deposition that he testified in in texas in 2005 under oath, he clearly said i
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never used drugs, it's as clear as day, it's perjury. one thing going for him, statute of limitations is gone. so he cannot be cannot be indic. the federal government has the right to look into wire fraud cases, and he could be indicted on federal charges. i don't think he will, but certainly it's something he has to consider. >> thanks very much to both of you. and, please, keep taking to our facebook and twitter and let us know what you think about lance armstrong and whether he can be redeemed. the governor of florida has been accused of using his dog to get elected. are reporters being too rough on him? heart you - you sing to♪ ♪one smile that cheers you ♪one face that lights when it nears you.♪ ♪and you will be happy too.
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during his campaign for governor of florida, rick scott announced his family had rescued a labrador retriever. he was very excited about it. he actually held a contest on facebook to name the retriever and the fans decided on the name reagan. but then when rick scott took office, something happened. reagan disappeared. last time he made a public appearance was the day before scott was sworn in. kind of weird, right? aren't labs always in your business? the press decided to find reagan. after a very thorough investigation, the tampa bay times learned that rick scott had given up reagan because apparently the dog got too nervous around the governor's mansion with all the hustle and bustle. to the governor's credit, he adopted another shelter dog. why did he get a dog in the first place? maybe because voters really like
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people who really like dogs. from george washington on, our elected officials have found creative ways to be seen with their dogs in supposedly candid moments. seriously? on the campaign trail, walking in the rose garden, lounging on the white house porch. now, we know that all of them really love their dogs, but it certainly didn't hurt that they also helped them project a certain aura of manliness while still appearing nurturing, the perfect combo. that may be one of the things why when our current president, barack obama, was elected said this. >> sasha and malia, i love you both, more than you can imagine. and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the white house. >> the president, of course, finally settled on his dog bo, as in b-o. i don't know.
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